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Old 26-06-2015, 10:25 AM   #2
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I can't wait for Malays in Malaysia to be like Singapore's: Former Malaysia Law Minister
Former Malaysia Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim has said that his "Malays under Najib will be Talibans" tweet has been incorrectly interpreted by an online news portal.

POSTED: 25 Jun 2015 18:11

SINGAPORE: Malaysia's former Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim said on Wednesday (Jun 24) that his "Malays under Najib will be Talibans" tweet has been incorrectly interpreted by an online news portal.

"When commenting on my tweet last week, the portal suggested that I would not mind Malays here being marginalised like Singaporean Malays as long as they do not become extremists like the Taliban," said Mr Zaid. "This interpretation of my tweet is certainly incorrect."

He added: "Singaporean Malays, although a minority, are also not marginalised. Many of them are happy with the Singaporean Government and it would be silly for the PAP (People's Action Party) to even think of discriminating against Malays and risk forfeiting 15 per cent of the vote."


In a tweet on Jun 21, Mr Zaid had said: "Sorry Tun if under Najib Malays here will become like Spore Malays; I will give him full support. Malays under Najjb will be Talibans."

The former Law Minister on Wednesday said that the tweet was in response to former Malaysia Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's statement that "Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would make the local Malays more like Singaporean Malays – that is, allegedly 'second-class citizens' and marginalised."

"My retort was that Dr Mahathir was wrong," said Mr Zaid. "Najib would make Malays like the Taliban, but if under Najib Malays here grew to become like Malays in Singapore, then I would be happy to support him."

In a video released by blogger Din Turtle on Jun 20, Dr Mahathir addressed a closed-door forum by the Perdana Leadership Foundation, saying: “If we don’t acknowledge the crime that is happening here, there is a high likelihood that we will lose and we will be divided ... And we will suffer the fate of the Malays in Singapore, in southern Thailand and other places.”

“Now we are thankful because we are still in power but if Najib leads the country, we will lose that power in our hands and at that point, there won’t be anyone there to offer us protection," Dr Mahathir added, according to The Malay Mail Online.

Said Mr Zaid in his statement on Wednesday: "No one wants to see Malays marginalised and poor - certainly not me. Malays should be given the best opportunities to improve and they deserve much more than what they currently have."


Mr Zaid also said that he wished Malays in Malaysia were more like those in Singapore.

"Singaporean Malays do not have the same 'special treatment' as their Malaysian counterparts, so you could say that they are worse off than us," he said. "However, their leaders are clean and the transparent system of government there means it’s a lot more difficult to siphon off public money for private use."

"Singapore also has a good and fair housing policy, for example, and I am sure Malays here would be better off if we had the same thing," he added.

"The difference is this: Singaporean Malays reap the benefits of the modern advanced economy that is Singapore and are encouraged by political leaders to develop themselves," said Mr Zaid.

"I can’t wait for Malays here to be like Singaporean Malays."

- CNA/hs/av


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